35th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives Commentary: Survey Reflects Rapidly Changing Real Estate Environment

24 May 2021


COVID 19’s impact on real estate last year was an accelerator of trends, a disrupter — more than even the Black Swan event of the financial crisis in 2008 — and exposed dramatic weaknesses and vulnerabilities in many supply chains.

This year’s annual Corporate Survey gives light to some of these impacts and trends. Of the respondents, 60 percent of whom were either the CEO or owner, 57 percent were in the manufacturing or warehouse business, and 30 percent said they were going to expand operations.

More customers than ever had groceries delivered to their homes and the requirement for ultra-cold storage of COVID vaccines left the cold storage category with zero vacancy, even with its mostly outdated asset class. Projections indicate a need for 75–100 million square feet to fill this void. Changing family behavior patterns, with most restaurants closing, caused a shift in more home meal preparation, part of which is likely to stay, accelerating an existing trend for last-mile warehouses and increased food manufacturing capacity.

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